Thank you to Marsha, Phil, and to everyone who was involved with the project for putting this all together. Thanks to these amazing poets and storytellers, “Dear America: Telling the World We Lived,” can spread history and life lessons to a younger generation. I don’t think we’ll ever recover from the pandemic but sharing our stories and poems will help our experiences last forever. Today I am sharing the stories and poems of Eileen Fiori, Marcy Wingard, and Jerry Garcia.  Eileen has always had a thirst for knowledge. After taking courses on women’s studies in mid-life; Eileen realized that she did not want to followRead More →

One morning, Gerald Zwers stood in his driveway. He took 100 mindful steps and ended up in front of a neighbor’s house. Looking left was “a great wall of green,” the hedge of a neighbor, and to his right, Zwers saw an intersection full of life and his own shadow stretching across it. “My immense, long shadow across the intersection,” he said, “That’s life. We have no idea how far we stretch.” Zwers has been stretching himself as an artist and an organizer of art shows for decades. A prolific painter, Zwers is hoping to augment visual art through collaboration with poets. Ekphrastic poetry isRead More →

  The complexity of home ground. What if the ground of our creativity, of our well-being is the ground itself? And, if the ground where we live is compromised by extractive technology yet still carries life and potential for nurturance, what should we do? For many of us, our understanding of beauty is based in this life and land. What if, as a people, most of us are late-comers, immigrants, and we did not and have not understood the land or cultures already here. What if a careless people came to a land they did not understand? And we are their descendants. What does lifeRead More →

Wit, Grit, and Experience – The Women’s Reading by Gabrielle Costanzo On March 7th the Ventura County Poetry Project hosted their annual International Women’s Day reading, which featured inspiring performances by a talented and diverse group of women. Each woman brought their own unique experiences and poetry to the reading. All the women who read put on a powerful performance, showing just how moving and empowering poetry and women can be. I had the honor of attending this reading via zoom, and would like to share some of my thoughts and highlights of the reading. The first woman to read was Zayan Reza. She isRead More →

Defining Moments by Lin Rolens As Amanda Gorman read her poem at the presidential inauguration and then read again at the Super Bowl, she vividly reminded us about the transformative power of language and poetry—and this is a moment for poetry. And, as the Ventura County Poetry Project launches its fourth annual poetry contest, we hope to tap into some of that remarkable energy. Last year’s contest was the most successful of our contests to date: we enjoyed many and varied, quality entries from all over our county and well beyond, and, in spite of the fact that our reading ceremony celebrating the winners wasRead More →